A Brief History of the Mission Partnership

Leading for a change

When the brand new city of Milton Keynes was designated on 23rd January 1967, an Inter-Church committee was convened to accept the principle that the Churches should act together in all matters except where deep differences of conviction compelled them to act separately.

Ecumenical proposals were submitted in March 1970 and incorporated into the Development Corporation’s “Master Plan”. It was a first for a New Town Plan to include a section from the churches acting together and MK has broken new ground from then on. The realisation of the aspiration was long and difficult to achieve and many people worked and prayed hard for its accomplishment.

In the late seventies it became clear that an Ecumenical Planning Officer funded by the denominations was needed to give a coherent lead from the churches speaking with a single voice. In 1981 Rev Gethin Abraham–Williams was appointed as the Ecumenical Officer and by 1982 a new Christian Council came into being, with a Presidency, an Executive and the Ecumenical Assembly which met three times a year.

The Presidency was formed by the five leaders of the participating denominations and the Assembly elected a Lay Chair to ensure lay participation.

Leading for a change

There was much building of new churches within new local ecumenical partnerships and these were designed to be shared by the participating denominations. The older traditional churches were incorporated as well. New teams represented most of the denominations within each partnership.

The next Ecumenical Officer, Rev Hugh Cross, took the title of Ecumenical Moderator in 1990 and he was in post when the building of the Church of Christ the Cornerstone was completed.

In 1996 Hugh was succeeded by Rev Murdoch McKenzie and in 2003 Rev Dr Mary Cotes became the last Ecumenical Moderator. During Mary’s time in MK, a Review into the working of the Mission Partnership was carried out and the findings revealed some ambiguities and legal misunderstandings of the role.

Fresh clarity of purpose enabled the Mission Partnership to analyse carefully what it could do and led to the appointment of a Director of Ecumenical Mission in 2012 to focus on all aspects of Mission in the city. There is a new vision which includes working with other Christian groups and churches in the city, as well as the traditional denominations which had hitherto supported the Mission Partnership.

So we are embarking on a new chapter with clear challenges.

Leading for a change

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Leading for a change

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News

Churches Together in Milton Keynes

The Milton Keynes Mission Partnership is being dissolved and our mailing lists will be cancelled.  Our data cannot be transferred to another charity because of data protection rules (GDPR).

A new organisation is being set up by a working group.  We hope and pray that “Churches Together in Milton Keynes” will build strong relationships between churches in Milton Keynes – seeking to encourage ecumenical mission and mutual support.

Sign up to receive updates about “Churches Together”.

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United in Prayer for Ukraine

Churches Together in England and Churches Together in Britain & Ireland are supporting Christian Aid to create a moment of prayer and witness for the crisis in Ukraine on Sunday 3rd April, which is Passion Sunday. #WePrayforUkraine

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A renewed commitment – press statement from Churches Together in England

CTE Forum 2022 – The Hayes, Swanwick

The Churches Together in England Forum, the broadest ecumenical gathering in the country, ended on 16/3/22 with a renewed commitment that the church is ready to serve a ‘broken world’.

More than 300 delegates from CTE’s 52 national Member Churches, Bodies in Association and partner organisations met to discuss the theme ‘Reconciling Hope: A broken church for a broken world’ viewed through the lenses of racial justice and the climate emergency.

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MK Mission Partnership General Meeting – 29th March 2022

Thank you to those who attended the General Meeting of the Milton Keynes Mission Partnership on Tuesday 29th March 2022 at Christ the Cornerstone. All members present at the Meeting agreed to the resolution to dissolve the charity and therefore an application will be made by the MKMP Trustees to the Charity Commission for the dissolution.

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MK Mission Partnership General Meeting – 29th March 2022

Thank you to those who attended the Special General Meeting of the Milton Keynes Mission Partnership on Wednesday 9th March 2022. It was heartwarming to see so many of our members and friends present and we hope you appreciated the opportunity to hear what had happened since the last Assembly and to ask questions of our Presidents. Minutes from the Meeting will be available shortly.

Those of you who were at the Meeting will be aware that our solicitors had advised that due to some technicalities, we were not able to hold the vote on the future of Mission Partnership on Wednesday.

Therefore we need to hold another General Meeting of the Milton Keynes Mission Partnership which will be held at Christ the Cornerstone Church (300 Saxon Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 2ES) on Tuesday 29th March 2022 at 7.00pm. Our solicitors have advised that this Meeting cannot be held on zoom and must be held in person.

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Celebration Choral Evensong at Cornerstone

On 13th March 1992 Christ the Cornerstone was dedicated by  the national heads of the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and URC Churches in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. It was a very special occasion – the first time for over 400 years that a Catholic Cardinal (Basil Hume) had delivered a sermon in the presence of the Monarch. The service was televised live on BBC1.

This Sunday, 13th March, at 6pm, the Choir of Christ the Cornerstone sings Celebration Choral Evensong to mark this anniversary occasion. The service will include hymns, readings and special choral settings  from the original Dedication Service. The service will be led by Revd Tim Norwood.

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Preaching in Times of Crisis – A workshop for preachers sponsored by Stantonbury Partnership Preachers Group

Rev Dr Paul Smith invites preachers from around Milton Keynes to join us for an evening led by Rev Dr Rob Beamish, Minister of Princes’ Drive Baptist Church, Colwyn Bay. Rob will lead our thinking about crisis preaching based on his doctoral research and thesis.

We will be reflecting together with the aim of helping us improve our thinking and practice as we try and respond to the challenge of preaching in difficult times. Rob gained his doctorate in this subject at King’s College, London.

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Ukraine – Vigil at MK Rose | Radio Interview | Emergency Appeal

There will be a Vigil for Ukraine on Saturday evening, 12th March, 6pm at the MK Rose in Campbell Park. It will last half an hour and the Mayor will be present. It will be an opportunity to show our concerns for those involved. All welcome.

We also have details of a Three Counties Radio interview Rev Nicola Vidamour has recently done. And details of the Methodist Emergency Appeal for Ukraine.

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Prayers for the Ukraine, Russia & for World Peace

This Sunday 27th February, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, are inviting Christians to pray for the Ukraine, Russia and for Peace. On the 2nd March, Ash Wednesday, His Holiness Pope Francis has also called for be a Global Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace. Will you join in prayer for peace for our world?

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